Cody’s is Closing?

I just heard that Cody’s in Berkeley is closing. My distance from the Bay Area leaves me out of the loop sometimes. This is a famed indie bookstore, and the one where I met the ever-so-sexy Redmond O’Hanlon and got his book, Trawler, signed. Well, this article suggested it, but by looking at their website, I can’t tell one bit. More digging showed that it is true, the Telegraph store will close while the Fourth Street and SF store will remain open.

So, people are talking about indie bookstores again. Maybe they haven’t stopped, but here’s a new take from SLATE—We don’t need them?

What Are Independent Bookstores Really Good For?
Not much.

I hope that this was written so that people would get outraged and defend the indies, but it doesn’t read like it. And of course, why would a journalist have an ulterior motive.

Tyler Cowen, author of Good and Plenty: The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding writes:




The real change in the book market is not the big guy vs. the little guy, or chain vs. indie stores. Rather, it’s the reader’s greater impatience, a symptom of our amazing literary (and televisual) plenitude.

So, maybe, instead of activists doing what they can to keep the brick and mortar stores alive, caring tech geeks and shed light on how our fave indie stories can build a cross platform that caters to the needs of our quickening culture.

If you were to open and run a bookstore, what would you do differently?
What would you like to tell your fave indie store?
What would you like to see in a brick and mortar store?

computer kiosks
the option to pay out the nose for next day delivery (UPS, partner with the indies like FedEx did with Kinkos!)
Impulse buy suggestions sent by email or RSS
Author outreach and signed book service

It’s a lot to think about. Something we should discuss over an Americano, at a indie bookstore cafe. Or in a townhall meeting.

(via Ben Casnocha)